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Our 4yo boy is fine weeing on the toilet, however refuses to poo on it. He wants a nappy and goes and hides somewhere to poo. We’ve tried sitting him on the toilet when he needs to go and he ends up holding it in. Has anyone got any tricks or advice. I don’t want to force him because it doesn’t work, we’ve tried putting a nappy on him and putting him in the bathroom with a baby toilet, but he didn’t like that, tried with the big toilet, have him a book to read while on the toilet, watching a video…. will he eventually jist ‘click’? Hubby and I are a little lost, so any other ideas would be great. Thanks!


Posted by mom468219, 21st July 2020


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  • I had a lot of issues with my 4 year old son as well. We were set up on a bowel program. We got him to sit on the toilet at the same time everyday and blow some bubbles for a few minutes and then hope off. We did this for around a week and he started to poo while doing it as blowing bubbles uses the same muscles and pushing a poo. My son is now 5 and poos around the same time everyday (sometimes still asks for the bubbles but that’s okay)


  • My boys would go to the toilet same time as their Dad and use their potty because they wanted to be grown up just like him. When they used it for poos we praised them and they never looked back. All kids are different. My advice is to try something for a few days and if that doesn’t work try something else.


  • A reward chart may work. Is there something that he really wants. Maybe some smaller rewards on the way to a bigger prize ?


  • I found that the reward of getting some brand new big girl/ boy undies worked wonders for my kids. Does he have a favourite character like Thomas the Tank? Buy him some undies with the favourite character on them and say things like “you don’t want to poo on Thomas, that would make him feel really sad”. I know it seems simple but that was what made things click for us.


  • This is tough time as i went through three kids for toilet training.I found every child is different.It need more time.But don’t foced or give up.Always talk and cheer him up.One day he will do.


  • Does he have an older cousin he looks up to? My boy refused not only to go on the toilet but also to wipe his bottom as he thought it dirty. When his cousin explained he went to the loo and the way he held his toilet paper, all of a sudden he was a very grown up young man who was happy to go off to school. Worth a try!


  • I read something written by an older male recently that struck me as somewhat weird. He always puts 2 squares of toilet paper in the bottom of the toilet to stop splash backs ?!? Maybe this is what puts your son off pooping in a toilet ???


  • He will eventually just click! Mine would refuse until I put a nappy on her and would do it straight away within seconds of a nappy going on. Something clicked when I used bribery and now poos proudly in the loo. I have heard put 7 little cars on a sheet in the toilet and when he does on take one off as a reward, not sure it works however but worth a try x


  • My son was same…until he got ipad to relax and then poo wasnt a problem..


  • It can be the sudden drop and plonk and splash that gives them a fright. It can be that they can’t see what’s happening whereas in a nappy they can feel it. With support and consistency he will get there eventually but it can seem a long road. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job at it Keep up your great work!!


  • This is a real thing. I remember when my nephew was doing the same thing and I thought ‘how ridiculous is that behaviour’ well, what did I know….not much as it happens, I had 3 boys, the first one was absolutely no problem but it was all downhill after that. I think I read a whole library of books with them sitting on the loo waiting for that magic moment, when number 2 & 3 went through this stage. I think it is a real fear of falling in with it or something. But just be patient and consistent, you will get there.


  • He is young maybe look at a reward chart. This is going to seem weird but does he know you poo in the toilet too. I know I am for ever kicking my kids out so I can go ijn peace maybe he is thinking the same


  • Given that he is now four and will be starting kindy and school over the next year you may need to see your gp for a referral to a psychologist? Toileting can take a while but at 4 he should be able to sit on the toilet to poo. It sounds like he might have a fear of the toilet for pooping?


  • Yes it will eventually just click. I remember my son also still soiling his pants at that age, but it improved at age 5 although he still would have every now and then a poo accident. He wet his bed regularly till age 10. We didn’t make much fuzz about it, just changed and cleaned it up and had him helping with that. We just had him in undies, no nappies.


  • Off with the nappy! Then extra praise when he goes. They won’t like being dirty.mthere will be a transition period and maybe some accidents but staying cool makes him feel safe and more willing to do it right


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